Today’s article is all about the beautiful island of Malta. It’s a popular tourist resort with many escaping the cold weather of the Northern European countries to visit Malta at least once a year.
The most visited attraction in Malta is the capital Valletta. The city is still full of buildings from the 16th century and has a very nice old town. On each side of the harbour are bastions, Fort St Angelo and Fort St Elmo.
Valletta also houses some of the best museums on Malta like National Museum of Fine Arts, National Museum of Archeology and National War Museum.
Valetta also has a nice promenade fronting the harbour which is full of pubs restaurants bars and souvenir shops. A visit to Valletta will never be complete without going up to Castillean where you can have stunning views over the whole city and see the famous clock tower that chimes every hour.
As the island is so small, it is easy to stay in the capital and then take day trips out to the other destinations on the island. It’s definitely worth visiting some of the ancient temples such as Hagar Qim Malta or taking a trip to the sister island of Gozo.
Mdina or Mdina is an ancient fortified city on Malta which used to be the capitals of Malta before Valletta was built in 1566. The old town centre has kept a medieval atmosphere and is very popular with tourists.
The old city centre of Mdina has been nominated to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its architecture which kept its medieval features after it was taken over by the Knights Hospitaller in 1530. The town also still has some fortifications that are as old as the 13th century. Mdina can be accessed by bus or by car and is only a few kilometers from Valletta.
Mdina was taken over by the Knights of St John in 1530 as they wanted to move their headquarters here because it was safer than Birgu which was prone to attacks. In 1553 the city was renamed to Mdina and it became the capital of Malta.
It remained the capital until 1591 when Valletta was built. The city stayed under full control of the knights until 1798, when Napoleon took over and gave the Maltese people more rule. During this time Mdina lost some of its importance as many nobles moved to Valletta and most knights escaped to the countryside.
During World War 1 Mdina was bombarded and many edifices were destroyed including Auberges d’Aumont, de Ville and Des Chevaliers which had been part of the fortifications built in the 14th-15th centuries. It was not until 1953 that most of these buildings were rebuilt.
During World War 2 Mdina was attacked and bombed again when it housed a supply of fuel for the island.
St Julians is one of the oldest towns on Malta that dates back to the middle ages. St Julian’s has some old churches, that still exist today like Martorana which was built in 1324. The town also has St Julian’s fort which was built in 1635.
The village has a lot of bars and restaurants, lot of hotels have been built here to cater for the tourism that comes from Northern Europe during winter months. The town is also very close to Malta’s second largest city Sliema and it takes only 10 mins by car to travel between the two.
This promenade and marina area in Sliema is one of the most popular spots for tourists visiting Malta. The marina has a lot of water sport activities to try like boat trips, jet skiing and scuba diving. The area also has a lot of restaurants that are very popular with young people especially during the summer months. There is a promenade that stretches between Sliema and St Julians and has lots of trees to offer shadow for people walking there. The town also houses the only casino in Malta, which grants it some importance as well.
It’s definitely worth spending at least a week in Malta, possibly two if you would like to explore Gozo as well. Have you ever been to Malta? We would love to hear from you – please leave your comments on this blog!